I knew something was wrong, the moment I heard the gurgling, gagging, grasping for breath sounds while she lay beside me in bed. We had just spent the entire day at Disneyland, and her numbers were out of control from the adrenaline rush caused by the excitement of all the rides. It was supposed to be a magical day for the whole family, but it quickly turned into the worst day of our lives.
We had arrived back at our hotel very late, around 1:00 AM after a fun-filled day at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” I had given Lili a correction for her high numbers, but she was low by bedtime. I gave her a juice box and told her to go to sleep and that I would check her in fifteen minutes. I set my alarm to ring in fifteen minutes and closed my eyes, even though I’m used to staying up until 2:00 AM. With the time change my body still felt like it was 3:00 AM, and walking all day in the hot California sun with six kids didn’t help. Within minutes, Lili started seizing. It was the first seizure she had ever had since being diagnosed in 2010, and to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. I leapt out of bed and grabbed her into my arms. She had that glassy-eyed stare I’d read about so many times, and then she started screaming at the top of her lungs in long, consistent drones, as if to the beat of a drum. It seemed to go on forever. I hugged her tight and asked my parents to find the meter that had flown off the bedcovers when I jumped out of bed. Her blood sugar was 32. After a few minutes, she finally came out of it and was able to eat some glucose tabs. She didn’t remember a thing. Thankfully, Ben was with the other kids in the room next door, so they didn’t see or hear the whole frightening event. I never thought I’d think to myself, “Thank God she had a seizure—if she hadn’t, she’d be in a coma.”
When you ask me how spring break was this year, don’t be surprised if I say it was the best and worst vacation ever. I certainly didn’t need this wake-up call to realize that every day is precious. I’ve always known that the same thing that keeps my daughter alive—insulin—could also kill her. A diabetic seizure is a serious condition and can result in death in some cases.
There are few medical conditions other than type 1 diabetes where the patient, or for young patients, the parents make any number of life-and-death decisions daily. That’s why we are walking again this year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes. We are again asking for your support.
Please, won’t you join us in finding a cure for Lili and the millions of others who suffer from type 1 diabetes. Last year we raised an astounding $9251. This year our goal is $10,000. It’s faster and easier than ever to donate. Simply visit http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/teamlili to donate online. Your online donation can be made by credit card and is tax-deductible. If you prefer, you can mail your gift check to me at the address listed below. Please make the check out to JDRF and include my name in the “Memo” section.
Lori Lee Roden
1326 Boundary Rd.
Middleton, WI 53562
We would also love to have you join Team Lili and walk with us on Sunday, September 29 at Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit our team page as well to register.
Any amount, great or small helps JDRF get closer to its goal to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D.
Thank you from all of us for your generous support.
With sincere thanks,
Lori, Ben, Isabel, Elena, Lili, Eli, Petey and Daniela Roden
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Christine and Willi Zarth
Dr. & Mrs. Lim
Itza P Rocess
Peter & Caroline Lee & Family
The Hafeman Family
The Mathur Family
The Roden Family
The Stupek Family